Seriously, I thought learning to mail a package was a life skill learned early, but I guess that's what you get when your entire family is employed by the United States Postal Service. I have recently learned that mailing a package is not something everyone knows how to do. Here are the easy steps.
1. Gather what you want to ship. Today I am shipping a welcome to the world present for a baby girl. Do you want awesome flannel burp cloths in fun designs that won't fall off your shoulder like those slippery ones? You can get them here. Do you want a cute little rattle/teether with the baby's name engraved on it? You can get one here. (Not a cent has ever been made on this web site. I purchase these things over and over and over again for new baby presents. They are awesome.)
2.Gather supplies for packaging. I'm going to use a box here, as it traditional, but you can mail envelopes, and, as my dear mother likes to do, tubes. My mom frequently empties a Gatorade bottle, puts funny things in it, tapes an address label on it, and mails it. Whatever works, as long as it's safe for the postal workers and you can adhere labels to it. Also, tissue paper, packing tape, a writing utensil, a pair of scissors, and a brown paper bag.
4.Make sure there are no other labels on your mailing device. Since I'm using an old amazon box, I'm just going to wrap it in brown paper. If there's only one other bar code or something, feel free to just black it out with a marker.
6. Take your package to the post office. During a winter storm advisory. Or not. You know, it probably can wait. Anyway, this is probably the most complicated part. The crotchety person at the counter (why are USPS counter workers always so grumpy? it's a legitimate question - my mom works for the post office and even she asks this question) will give you a million options for how to ship.
I. Express - This is super expensive and not worth it unless you absolutely need overnight delivery. If you do need overnight delivery, might I suggest FedEx or UPS instead because their tracking systems are better.
II. Priority mail - This will give you two to three day delivery. Usually what I go with. It's not super expensive and they put priority mail stickers all over your package which is something I like.
III. Standard mail - I think this used to be called ground? or economy? or something else? Anyway, it's 2-8 days and most of the time with packages the size and weight that I send, priority is only 20-30 cents more and it's much faster, so I go with it.
IV. Media mail - You can use this if you are buying/selling/trading books with BookMooch, which is the most ingenious thing I have ever learned about from Mimi Smartypants.
Okay, okay, you say. This doesn't sound so bad. But what if I don't have a box, envelope, or Gatorade bottle that fits what I want to send? Don't fret, my friend.
You can gather up what you want to ship and take it over the Post Office. They have shipping supplies for sale there or you can get an Express or Priority box and get the flat rate. *sigh* So many shipping options, so little time.